It is with much pride and happiness that I feel I am finally able to announce that the debate on man bags (also known affectionately as a “murse”) has concluded and their acceptability is no longer of contention. It is almost impossible to walk down the street in New York without seeing at least one man carrying some sort of version of the man bag, now a necessity for all of modern living’s impedimenta.
With the legitimacy of the man bag now firmly acknowledged by almost all, men are beginning to look beyond the traditional messenger bag for both more practical and stylish options. Here are some different styles to keep an eye out for when making your next purchase.
Andrew Marc (on sale: $319)
Don’t let the title of “weekender” bag here fool you. Most likely, it would be much too small for even the most Spartan of packers, likely unable to fit more than a day’s change of clothing, let alone the other things necessary for a weekend excursion. Instead, this bag from Andrew Marc, as well as others, has been proliferating all throughout New York as the bag form of choice for the modern gentleman. Because of its unmistakably masculine appearance, it is not easily confused for a women’s bag. At the same time, it is still both sophisticated and attractive and is thus a great option for a daily bag around town. I prefer bags like this because the pockets and compartments that are normally lacking on messenger bags aid you in being better organized, which saves you all the trouble of digging around through your stuff until you find your vibrating cell phone at the absolute bottom of everything.
Dolce and Gabbana ($520)
The problem I have with most messenger bags is that the plain canvas bags are so ubiquitous that they become a turn-off. This incarnation from Dolce and Gabbana is exciting in its contrast to other banal messenger bags available from retailers like Manhattan Portage. The distressed leather flap and “antique” brass hardware make it stand out as a refined bag, well adept for expressing your individuality.
The shape of this bag, from Gucci reminds me vaguely of a traditional doctor’s bag. In reality, I would classify it as a briefcase-hybrid since if it were not for the bag’s expanding shape at the bottom, it would essentially be a soft briefcase. The bag’s roomy interior and larger size allow for it to be easily converted to carrying files to and from the office. At the same time, the bag is casual enough for even weekend use, making any outfit more sophisticated. It is also possibly the most perfect manifestation of what a piece of carry-on luggage should be in terms of proportion and style.